For the longest time I really thought that this was Godzilla Rides again, but Raids makes so much more sense.
The second Godzilla film to made, and the first to show another Kaiju, Anguirus. I think it’s at this point where the Godzilla series starts to become what we know of it today, and moves away from the very serious start in Gojira.
As this is the first time I’ve seen this movie, I was really looking forward to see how it held up to the first and where it stood with the rest of the Sh?wa series. It stars some of the same actors from the original, repeating their roles, but it does change the Director and musical score. Starting to watch it, it already feels like a quick follow up to a successful movie. Oh, the same special effects team is on this movie.
Now, the first thing that strikes me as odd is that, if Godzilla was ‘killed off’ in the first film, why is no one surprised that he shows up again so soon? And that there’s still a Godzilla Countermeasures force? Oh, that’s right, it’s a sequel, don’t worry about these things
So the movie starts off with one plane going down near a southern island, and another trying to rescue the first. Then they both see Godzilla attacking another monster that turns out to be Anguirus. Then there’s a general meeting about what to do, and I stand corrected. This is a different Godzilla, as the first one is really dead. OK, so that clears that up. But they still don’t know what to do about it.
While this still retains some of the serious feeling from the first film, it moves in on the action pretty quickly with the entire Japanese fleet tracking Godzilla in the water. Of course they do this in the ‘command room’ with a map and a little wooden Godzilla figure. I would like that figure
The destruction starts really early on this one. Godzilla is spotted and they try to confuse him with flares(it’s a thing) and that sorta works. Until an odd side-plot of a group of convicts escape from a police truck, only to steal a gas tanker and crash into, well, a very large plant that’s very flammable. Worst criminals evar. This lures Godzilla to the mainland, where he’s attacked by Anguirus. There is some very silly looking Sumo style fighting going on between two guys in rubber suits. And it appears to be sped up for some reason.
This really goes on for some time, all the while laying waste to hundreds of tiny buildings. In between these scenes we have the reaction of the helpless Japanese people, all watching the destruction happening around them.
When I was really into Gundam models, a dream of mine was to either:
- Be in a Godzilla film only to get stepped on
- Be on the design crew, making all the models and backgrounds for Godzilla to step on
Neither has come true, but really, I didn’t pursue it at all But it would still be cool.
So the really long battle ends with the defeat of Anguirus(oh, spoiler alert) and Godzilla wanders off into the sea. And then, like all good monster movies, people just assume he’ll never return and they got on with their lives. Which, in this case, is to plan a wedding. And get drunk. Probably at the same time.
But wait! He returns! Again.
The Japanese air force is called out to trap him on an island and bomb the scales off him, and that, or course, doesn’t work. Hey, it’s only the second movie in the series, the military hasn’t figured out that anything they have is pretty useless. So what happens? The second rescue plane(remember him) circles around and, well, basically tries to annoy Godzilla. I really have no idea what his plan was. And, but the look on his face just before he hits the mountain, I don’t think he knew either. But this causes an avalanche, and the military bombs the surrounding area to encase him in ice.
And as that seems to be the case, then I think the 1984 Godzilla movie is a direct sequel to Raids Again, and not the original as I had originally thought.
Overall, still a good movie. It’s an interesting transition from the original to the more well known ‘campy’ movies that will follow it. And I think it should be noted that the next in line, Godzilla vs King Kong, comes out 5 years later. Maybe people needed a Godzilla break after this one
So stay tuned for Godzilla vs King Kong!